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Monstrosity of Christ: a discussion of this book

Monstrosity of Christ: a discussion of this book

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Published by Lyle Brecht
A Lacanian Reading of The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? by Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank, edited by Creston Davis (Cambridge, MA. & London: The MIT Press, 2009) with the Television Series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (draft for discussion purposes).
A Lacanian Reading of The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? by Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank, edited by Creston Davis (Cambridge, MA. & London: The MIT Press, 2009) with the Television Series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (draft for discussion purposes).

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Published by: Lyle Brecht on May 12, 2009
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02/01/2013

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 A Lacanian Reading of the
Monstrosity of Christ 
with the Television Series,
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Lyle A. Brecht
 
May 2009
DISCUSSION:
THE MONSTROCITY OF CHRIST: PARADOX OR DIALECTIC?
BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK ANDJOHN MILBANK, EDITED BY CRESTON DAVIS (CAMBRIDGE, MA. & LONDON: THE MIT PRESS, 2009)
Lyle Brecht DRAFT 4.3 Sunday, July 5, 2009
Page 1 of 32
 
The stars lost their divinity as astronomy developed, and the Dying God has no place in chemical  agriculture
– C.S. Lewis
1
 
In our dreams, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart; and in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom by the awful grace of God 
– Aschylus’
 Agamemnon
2
The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear 
3
 
 A Lacanian Reading
4
of
The Monstrosity of Christ 
5
with the TelevisionSeries,
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
6
Just for a moment, let’s imagine that Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chroniclestelevision series (both season 1 and season 2) is true in its entirety and in its specificity.There really is a Sarah Connor, mother of 16-year old John Connor and a girl-Terminator, Cameron Phillips, sent from the future to protect John Connor,masquerading as John’s sister.
7
This fictive narrative is centered around JudgmentDay occurring on April 21, 2011 when Skynet, an artificially intelligent (AI) missiledefense system built for the U.S. military by Cyberdyne Corporation
8
becomes self-aware and launches a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia, knowing full-well thatunder the present Deterrence Doctrine
9
strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction
10
 (today’s current version of National Security through deterrence based on counter- force) the Russian counter-response will be to launch all their nuclear-tipped missilesagainst the U.S. homeland. This
First Strike
, counter-force nuclear exchange responseessentially destroys the climate of the earth and the ability of the earth’s ecosystems tosupport existing food production, as well as much of the man-made infrastructure ofthe world’s cities. The result of this nuclear war is to leave only a remnant of a humanpopulation of 500,000 from the more than six billion of the earth’s human populationalive at the start of the war.
11
  Additionally, Skynet has released Terminator cyborgs, human-looking-like robots withliving tissue over hyper-alloy exoskeletons as hunter-killersof the remainder of humanity. What humanity that survives is organized as an armed Resistance to the machines under the leadership of John Connor.In this bleak, apocalyptic future, with humankind’s very existence hangingby a thread,both Skynet and the Resistance have acquired the use of time travel technology.Skynet has sent Terminators back in time before the Holocaust to kill John Connor so
DISCUSSION:
THE MONSTROCITY OF CHRIST: PARADOX OR DIALECTIC?
BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK ANDJOHN MILBANK, EDITED BY CRESTON DAVIS (CAMBRIDGE, MA. & LONDON: THE MIT PRESS, 2009)
Lyle Brecht DRAFT 4.3 Sunday, July 5, 2009
Page 2 of 32
 
that he will notexist and rise to lead the Resistance in the future. Likewise, theResistance has sent back Resistance fighters and reprogrammed Terminators toprotect John Connor’s life and to destroy Cyberdyne Corporation and the softwarecode that Cyberdyne uses to create the AI that becomes Skynet.In our imaginative scenario, this fictive narrative is no longer fictive,but comprises historical documents.
12
That is, Skynet, Terminators, the futureholocaust in 2011, Johnand Sarah Connor, Cameron, and essentially everything embodied in the Eventsrecorded in these historical documents is part of the Real.
13
 Assuming the Real includes, in its actuality, a future described accurately by theTerminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, we will posit two questions. We willalsoassume that these historical documents have received a fairly wide audiencevia themass media (e.g. television and the Internet):1)Will the elite of today in America (and the developed world) voluntarily choose torelinquish their power and wealth if doing so would change the projected futureof destruction and human immiseration as recorded in the historical documentsof The Sarah Connor Chronicles; and2)Will the multinational corporations voluntarily relinquish the tenets of a nihilisticcapitalism
14
and the national defense
15
of this capitalistic system whosetrajectory will lead unequivocally to future destruction of the earth and themajority of humans and other life forms presently inhabiting this earth?
16
The answer to both these questions, at least as depicted in the narrative of the nowimaginary historical documents, Terminator: The SarahConnor Chronicles, is No!Zizek and Milbank through their dialogic discourse recorded in
The Monstrosity of Christ 
provide ananswer for why both scientific materialism
17
and Christianreligiosity
18
under the Reality framework provided by modernity
19
are incapable ofresponding to the pleas of John Connor and his mother, Sarah, to repent, and tomake the decisions today that will prevent a certain known future of destruction andhuman immiseration. Provisionally, Zizek and Milbank also venture to propose analternative post-modern
20
formulation for both scientific materialism and orthodox
21
 Christianity
22
that may have some survival value in being able to process new data
DISCUSSION:
THE MONSTROCITY OF CHRIST: PARADOX OR DIALECTIC?
BY SLAVOJ ZIZEK ANDJOHN MILBANK, EDITED BY CRESTON DAVIS (CAMBRIDGE, MA. & LONDON: THE MIT PRESS, 2009)
Lyle Brecht DRAFT 4.3 Sunday, July 5, 2009
Page 3 of 32

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